Tuesday practice report

At the start of the team drill on Tuesday it looked like the fourth quarter of the OSU game all over again. The offense could do little wrong with passes being completed all over the place but eventually the defense settled in and made their share of plays.

It is definitely fall weather now with a chill in the air and the daylight savings time change now has the Trojans working out under the lights for much of the practice. It was a business-like attitude today with a lot of talking and jawing back and forth during warm-ups but not much once the actual practice got started. The general mood from the people we talked with today is the realization that there is still much to be accomplished this season despite the rare Trojan loss last weekend. Coach Carroll has hammered home the point that the focus of this program has been, and will always continue to be, the Pac-10 title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. In case anyone hasn't noticed, that goal is still within reach.

As if we needed a reminder of the injuries this team has suffered, today we saw John Pinkard, Jeff Byers and Ryan Powdrell at practice. Josh says it is very hard to watch the team right now while not being able to contribute but he is focusing on working hard with his rehab and a goal of being able to run in January. He was also pleased with the fact that he received all "B's" during the recent midterms. Byers was in good spirits but says he still has a long way to go in his rehab after a second surgery on his back.

As far as the practice itself, C.J. Gable turned in a good performance during the run drill on Brian Kennedy Field. Once the team moved to Howard Jones Field, we saw a fumbled handoff exchange between Mark Sanchez and Allen Bradford, rather than let his running back take the penalty lap by himself we saw Sanchez join Allen for the lap around the field. Emmanuel Moody later took the same route after he put the ball on the ground. Moody did have one beautiful run when he got outside and turned the corner with a burst of speed. After one play, Mike Garrett pulled Moody aside to offer a pointer on a change of direction move.

As stated earlier, when the team drill began the offense was absolutely on fire. John David Booty got things going with a completion to Travon Patterson dragging across the middle, Travon is going to see the ball in a game one of these days. Booty then missed fullback Thomas Williams with a short pass and several of his former defensive mates were extremely vocal in letting Thomas hear about it. On the next play, Williams came right back and made a sweet catch on the run before rambling into the secondary. I'll say this, that's a big man with the ball in his hands. Booty followed that up a few plays later by going deep over the middle to Patterson and the play went for a touchdown. Sanchez came in and kept the momentum going by hitting Bradford with a swing pass. Another Sanchez completion went to David Ausberry on a slant and then Mark dropped back with good protection and hit Dwayne Jarrett deep over the middle. After that, the defense stiffened. Sanchez tried to hit Fred Davis but Taylor Mays stepped in front nicely to make the interception. Chauncey Washington took a carry to the right and was knocked to the ground by Sedrick Ellis after no gain. Jeff Schweiger applied good pressure to force an incomplete pass. Sanchez then rolled to his left and threw back to the right to Stafon Johnson for a nice pick-up.

Lenny Vandermade was in attendance again. Travis Tofi was able to go through light drills at the start of the day.


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